Tribes Win DC Circ. Ruling Against FCC On Small-Cell Builds

Law360 (August 9, 2019, 11:56 AM EDT) -- The D.C. Circuit on Friday handed Native American tribes a key victory over the Federal Communications Commission by ruling that the commission did not sufficiently justify an order allowing telecom providers to deploy 5G small-cell infrastructure at heritage sites without consulting tribes or undergoing historic preservation and environmental reviews.

Native American advocacy and environmental groups had challenged the FCC order, which was aimed at expediting the national rollout of 5G infrastructure by exempting small-cell fixtures from certain federal reviews. The groups claimed the order flouts the National Environmental Policy and National Historic Preservation Acts.

The FCC has argued that those laws...

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